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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Your Novel's Affect On Readers

Authors are only half of the equation that makes a novel successful, readers and the affect our work has on them, is the other half. We must never forget that latter half and it's importance. This doesn't mean you have to write your novel differently but it does mean you have to be prepared. Not everyone will love your work, in fact some will hate it. Count on that and accept it now that way it doesn't break your heart when it happens. We can't please everyone and we shouldn't try.

Readers buy your book because something about it sparks their interest. They keep reading your book~and hopefully buy your future books~because they connect with it on some kind of emotional level. Before you ask, yes this goes for men as well. Excitement is an emotion, just not a warm and fuzzy one. That emotional connection is the thing you need to keep in mind when you're writing your novel. Ask yourself if you've engaged the reader by evoking emotion. Good characters development, suspense, excitement, these are all ways to make that connection with the reader.

The connection can be positive or negative. The reader might love it so much that they become a loyal fan and end up buying every book you ever write. On the other hand, they might thrown the book across the room, curse at it, then come back for more. Then there's always the chance that they might truly hate it. If this happens try to remember that however negative, you did evoke an emotional response from them, therefore you did what you set out to do.

This has recently happened to an author in the young adult community, Laurie Halse Anderson regarding her novel Speak. The negative reaction to this novel saddens me deeply because someone is now trying to get it banned. This is a book about a young girl who speaks out after she is raped. Such a thing should not be silenced. The good news is the young adult reading/writing community is coming together to spread the word. Don't be silent and don't encourage others to be. I'm buying Speak and making sure every woman and girl I love get's a copy as well. See, an emotional connection.

Stop by the Scribe Sisters blog tomorrow to enter for a chance to win Speak.

16 comments:

  1. I agree with you completely about the emotional connection books should make with the reader. Right now I'm on a new book and it just hasn't happened. It is different for every reader. Sometimes it happens right away, or it takes a little time, and then with some books it never happens. It's a good thing there is such a variety of books to choose from! :)

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  2. Great post! I think the community between writers and readers (and their mutual effects on each other) is so valuable.

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  3. I know what you mean TK. Plenty of books out there! When I'm reading a book I give it fifty pages and if I'm not emotionally connected by then, I move on!

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  4. Thanks Betherann. I couldn't agree more. The writing/reading community is worth its weight in gold. :-)

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  5. Developing an emotional connection is a challenge. And like everything else, it's subjective.

    I'm still in shock/angry about the whole SPEAK situation.

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  6. Relevant post for me today! I'm tweaking my manuscript and keep a sharp eye on the impact of my readers through my critique feedback. Very useful:)

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  7. That's so true Stina, it's very subjective. I'm right there with yah on the SPEAK situation. But it has brought us all closer together!

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  8. I'm glad it was helpful Tamika. Thank you so much for stopping by and following!

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  9. I love how our community has rallied around the topic and brought us closer.

    Lovely post, Heather!

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  10. Excellent! You're right. Just the fact that SPEAK elicited such a strong emotional response speaks volumes. I just got my copy and am loving it. I won another one on a blog and have asked it to be donated to a library. We all should do our part. :D

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  11. Thank you Lola. It's inspiring how we come together isn't it?!

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  12. I love that you won a copy and are donating it Lisa, that's fantastic! In fact, you've given me an idea. I think on the Scribe Sisters contest for SPEAK tommorrow I'm going to not only giveaway a copy but also donate one to my local library!

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  13. Heather, Thank you for sharing this important message. I keep telling this to myself when agents say they're not interested and it's not their type of book...
    And then for those who will fight to keep one off the shelf... shame on them! Especially one as important as Speak. Thank you for being an advocate to the voice!

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  14. SPEAK is one of my favorite books just because of the connection it gave me.

    I'm glad the writing and reading community is taking a stand. A book like this should not be censored --- readers need to be aware of it.

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  15. Thank you for standing beside me to support it as well Karlene! Victims must be heard and books must be read.

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  16. I know what you mean Karen, I definitely connected with the main character in a powerful way. Not only is it an important book, it's a really well written book. I'm glad to see the community standing up for it and victims too!

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